Tag Archives: eternal life

The Born Identity – Part 5

Hmm. What Church Should I Attend?

Which church is the right one…or the best one…or the funnest one…or the… Go ahead and add whatever your fancy is at the end of “or the”. That seems to be the common practice in this day and time.

But is that how God wants us to decide where to go to church? Not so much. The Bible would have us ask, “What makes up the Church? What is its purpose? How is it to function?” When we answer those questions, then we are equipped to go out into the world and find the “right church” (aka a “good church”), by judging the churches we visit on the basis of what the Bible tells us the Church is meant to be.

The Holy Spirit reveals the answer to our questions in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.  We unravel the mysteries of the Church in the latest volume of our Heavenly Citizens series. Get your copy today and study it with us. It is titled:

Philippians: Volume 16 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. Click here! Download your copy instantly!

Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers [Judges 2:16-17].

The facts must become our experience before they do us any good. They must be worked from our heads down into our hearts. In the heart the Word of God transforms us into the image of Jesus. In the head we remain conformed to the world. From the heart the Word of God transforms us by renewing our minds, so that we know what God’s will is for our lives and desire to see Him fulfill it in and through us.

The first generation of Israelites failed to mix faith with the Word of God, so they failed to enter God’s rest. Their kids were not required to imitate their parents and be apostates to King YHWH. Nor did they! The second generation learned from the error of their parents, and they did mix faith with the Word of God. Accordingly they entered His rest and received the inheritance.

Just as the second generation was not required to follow their parents’ example with regard to spiritual matters, so too was that the case with the third generation. Though their parents were mature men and women of God who walked by faith, the kids chose to reject their parents’ example and walk by sight, in imitation of their grandparents.

There is a moral to the story, dear friends. We have no choice when it comes time to choose parents. We are born with their identity (“The Born Identity”). However, when we reach adulthood, we have to decide for ourselves whether we want to keep that identity or not.

Of the first three generations of Israelites, each generation rejected their born identity. The same applies to us today. If we are from homes with non-Christian parents, we are not required to continue that legacy. We need to consciously choose new life in Jesus Christ and be born again (aka “The Reborn Identity”, part 2 of a potential trilogy).

If we are parents and we also are Christians, let us beware the moral from today’s study. Our kids have a born identity, yes, but they will grow up (if they haven’t already). At some point they will have to choose for themselves what their identity will be.

Their born identity only continues until adulthood. At adulthood they must choose to have a reborn identity, or they won’t have one. In that case they will be third generation Israelites. They will fall for all the false allurements of the world and serve the false gods readily available everywhere in our society.

Don’t think that salvation can come from being born, from the born identity of Christian parents. Only the reborn identity will suffice for eternal life, and that is not determined even one iota by natural birth.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Joshua: Volume 6 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

 

 

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The Born Identity – Part 4

Hmm. What Church Should I Attend?

Which church is the right one…or the best one…or the funnest one…or the… Go ahead and add whatever your fancy is at the end of “or the”. That seems to be the common practice in this day and time.

But is that how God wants us to decide where to go to church? Not so much. The Bible would have us ask, “What makes up the Church? What is its purpose? How is it to function?” When we answer those questions, then we are equipped to go out into the world and find the “right church” (aka a “good church”), by judging the churches we visit on the basis of what the Bible tells us the Church is meant to be.

The Holy Spirit reveals the answer to our questions in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.  We unravel the mysteries of the Church in the latest volume of our Heavenly Citizens series. Get your copy today and study it with us. It is titled:

Philippians: Volume 16 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. Click here! Download your copy instantly!

Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers [Judges 2:16-17].

The third generation of Israelites are under consideration in our study. Those guys and gals didn’t walk by faith in the word of King YHWH. They chased after the skirts of the heathen idols, the false gods of the previous inhabitants of the land. They didn’t follow their parents’ example. They returned to the ways of their grandparents.

“How could such a thing happen?” you incredulously wonder with mouth agape and befuddlement painting your face.

The Book of Judges answers your question. Let’s permit the Lord to teach us the answer:

Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan) [Judges 3:1].

Remember, the third generation of Israelites is under consideration in the verse. The words in parenthesis provide us the relevant information for our answer. The second generation Israelites, their parents, fought for the promises of the Lord. They conducted spiritual warfare to the death. Accordingly, they matured spiritually so as to understand how to live for the Lord and appreciate Him and His blessings.

But the third generation, their kids, didn’t experience any of this. Oh, they went to Sunday School because their parents made them. They read the Sunday School booklets and learned the facts about the Lord and His ways, about the wars to conquer the land and how they arrived at their contemporary state of affairs.

Sadly, but they experienced none of the reality. They learned some facts in their heads to be sure. They no doubt were sincere in believing the facts too. And I’ll bet you a boatload of money they had the best of intentions as well!

And that is the problem, dear friends. All of that put together means the third generation gave intellectual assent to the facts of the Lord’s dealings on Israel’s behalf. Trouble was, the facts never made their way into the hearts of those Israelites. In their heads the facts made them wise in their own eyes, puffed up, convinced they were the people of the Lord.

As the Apostle James explains it, even the devil knows the facts…and he has enough sense to shudder because of it, not have a fat head from it! Read his words for yourself in James 2:19.

So what is to be done to make the facts of the Bible effective in our lives? Spend some time with Jesus now and ponder this matter with Him. We will meet back here on the morrow to finish this study, same time, same station.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Joshua: Volume 6 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

The Born Identity – Part 3

Hmm. What Church Should I Attend?

Which church is the right one…or the best one…or the funnest one…or the… Go ahead and add whatever your fancy is at the end of “or the”. That seems to be the common practice in this day and time.

But is that how God wants us to decide where to go to church? Not so much. The Bible would have us ask, “What makes up the Church? What is its purpose? How is it to function?” When we answer those questions, then we are equipped to go out into the world and find the “right church” (aka a “good church”), by judging the churches we visit on the basis of what the Bible tells us the Church is meant to be.

The Holy Spirit reveals the answer to our questions in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.  We unravel the mysteries of the Church in the latest volume of our Heavenly Citizens series. Get your copy today and study it with us. It is titled:

Philippians: Volume 16 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. Click here! Download your copy instantly!

Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers [Judges 2:16-17].

Here’s the timeline for how the spiritual anomaly transpired. The first generation of Israelites marched out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership. The second generation crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership. While Joshua and that second generation of Israelites were still alive, the Word of King YHWH was obeyed.

The first generation saw all the Lord’s miracles on their behalf, e.g., the ten plagues in Egypt, the divided waters of the Red Sea, and the Mount Sinai awe. Nonetheless, that first generation didn’t add personal faith to the mix, so the Lord’s miracles failed to profit them spiritually. All they got from the miracles was momentary physical benefits.

The second generation saw the Lord’s miracles on their behalf, e.g., nearly forty years of provision for 3½ million people and their livestock, as they wandered a trackless wilderness. Water, food, clothing, protection—all was afforded them by King YHWH. Believe me. It took major miracles to accomplish the feat!

The second generation witnessed the Lord’s deeds on their behalf throughout the course of their lives, and they did add personal faith to the mix. In consequence the Lord’s miracles profited them immensely, as they spiritually matured into holy men and women of the Lord, a people fit for His possession. So the Lord opened the waters of the Jordan River and allowed them safe passageway to their inheritance.

On the west bank the Lord continued His miracles on Israel’s behalf. He went ahead of them and destroyed the heathen inhabitants of the land. The second generation walked by faith, following the Lord and performing mop-up duty. This was how they received the promised inheritance of the Promised Land.

The first generation walked by sight and disobeyed the Word of God. They didn’t see it with their own eyes and they didn’t understand with their own minds, so they rejected the Word of God. Accordingly they lost out on the promises.

The second generation walked by faith and obeyed the Word of God. They also didn’t see it with their own eyes or understand it with their own minds, but they believed the Word of God because King YHWH spoke it. Accordingly they obeyed His Word and received fulfillment of the promises.

Here’s the thing. In the Bible verses we quoted from the Book of Judges, the folks are the third generation of Israelites. From generation one to generation two much had changed. And so it was from generation two to generation three as well. We will probe this issue in our next study. For now chew the cud of our study today and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Joshua: Volume 6 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

The Born Identity – Part 2

Hmm. What Church Should I Attend?

Which church is the right one…or the best one…or the funnest one…or the… Go ahead and add whatever your fancy is at the end of “or the”. That seems to be the common practice in this day and time.

But is that how God wants us to decide where to go to church? Not so much. The Bible would have us ask, “What makes up the Church? What is its purpose? How is it to function?” When we answer those questions, then we are equipped to go out into the world and find the “right church” (aka a “good church”), by judging the churches we visit on the basis of what the Bible tells us the Church is meant to be.

The Holy Spirit reveals the answer to our questions in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.  We unravel the mysteries of the Church in the latest volume of our Heavenly Citizens series. Get your copy today and study it with us. It is titled:

Philippians: Volume 16 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. Click here! Download your copy instantly!

Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers [Judges 2:16-17].

You are wondering what happened to the first generation of Israelites, aren’t you? Yes, you are! I distinctly heard you think it. Well, they didn’t trust the word of King YHWH, so they refused to enter the Promised Land at Kadesh-barnea on the south. Consequently, the King sentenced them to banishment from the land. They roamed the desert for the next thirty-eight years (give or take), until the first generation all died out.

The two exceptions to this were Joshua bin Nun and Caleb ben Jephunneh. Those two Israelites of the first generation did believe the word of the King, so they were given the green light to enter the land and receive their inheritance. That is why Joshua led the second generation across the Jordan and conquered the Promised Land.

Here’s where the situation gets dicey, dear friends. This is where the two verses quoted at the start of this study kick in. The Lord was Israel’s King, literally. Israel had no human king like the other nations because the Lord God was King in Israel. He was King YHWH. That is the personal name of God in the Old Testament, YHWH (aka Yahweh or Jehovah).

The Lord ruled Israel as King, and He operated through human instrumentation known as “judges”. That is where the English title of the Book of Judges derives its name. In the two verses mentioned you will note the reference to “judges”. The word refers to these humans whom King YHWH employed as His subordinate leaders.

Anyway, King YHWH (aka the Lord) was faithful to his people. He raised up judges to lead them. They had this problem with their eyesight, you see. They couldn’t see King YWHW with their own eyes, so they required someone physical they could focus on to lead them.

It was a spiritual malady which betokened a serious flaw in their relationship with their King. In the New Testament it is known as walking by sight. They were supposed to walk by faith, you see, and faith comes from hearing the Word of God. They were supposed to hear the King speak, then believe what He said and obey.

Alas, but it didn’t work out that way in practice. Our Bible verses put the finger on the reason:

They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers [Judges 2:17].

We will assay this anomaly in our next study. Spend time with Jesus in the meantime, and converse with Him about our study today.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Joshua: Volume 6 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86

The Born Identity – Part 1

Hmm. What Church Should I Attend?

Which church is the right one…or the best one…or the funnest one…or the… Go ahead and add whatever your fancy is at the end of “or the”. That seems to be the common practice in this day and time.

But is that how God wants us to decide where to go to church? Not so much. The Bible would have us ask, “What makes up the Church? What is its purpose? How is it to function?” When we answer those questions, then we are equipped to go out into the world and find the “right church” (aka a “good church”), by judging the churches we visit on the basis of what the Bible tells us the Church is meant to be.

The Holy Spirit reveals the answer to our questions in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.  We unravel the mysteries of the Church in the latest volume of our Heavenly Citizens series. Get your copy today and study it with us. It is titled:

Philippians: Volume 16 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. Click here! Download your copy instantly!

Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers [Judges 2:16-17].

In the first few years of this millennium, a trilogy of movies appeared on the scene. They centered around a fictitious CIA legend named Jason Bourne. The trilogy accordingly wore the names “The Bourne Identity”, “The Bourne Supremacy”, and “The Bourne Ultimatum”.

The shows were blockbuster hits and raked in the moola at astronomical rates. I have to confess, I enjoyed each one of the trilogy installments, even though the theme followed the well-worn and tired plot of devious spies from another sinister and not-to-be-trusted government agency.

The action packed suspense at a pulsating rate from beginning to end—well, it provided enough excitement for us adrenalin junkies. We were cajoled into raking over our hard earned dole, just to sit and watch spellbound as Jason Bourne performed his spectacular exploits.

Whew! I’m short of breath just recalling the trilogy. If you have memorable moments from the trilogy too and are here to reminisce, I am sorry to disappoint you! We will not be talking further about the Jason Bourne trilogy, dear people. We are here to descant on “The Born Identity”, not “The Bourne Identity”. Sorry to all you movie buffs, but what we have to present is far more rewarding than a movie, even a movie trilogy.

The subject matter of “The Born Identity” has to do with eternal matters. Not that they are irrelevant now because these matters begin right here in time. That would be “time” as in “today”! So yes, “The Born Identity” is of the utmost moment for each one of us. Stick around then, if you care about your life.

The scene is ancient Israel circa 1400 B.C. I know that was a long time ago. Okay, so it was a really long time ago. Alright already. You win. It was a really lo~~~~~ng time ago. But don’t opt out on me just yet. The issue is still just as relevant for us today.

Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. Actually, the Lord (aka King YHWH) did the work, but Moses served as the King’s chief cook and bottle washer. Moses then anointed Joshua bin Nun as his replacement, after which he went home to the Lord in eternity.

Generalissimo Joshua then led the second generation of Israelites across the Jordan River from the east bank to the west. The Israelites conquered the Promised Land and settled down on their newfound inheritance from King YHWH.

That was the second generation of Israelites. But what happened to the first generation? We will investigate that issue in our next study. In the interim go to Jesus and discuss what we learned today. See you tomorrow.

To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Joshua: Volume 6 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to:
http://www.amazon.com/Randy-Green/e/B00507WC86